How To Set a “SMART” Goal: What You Need To Know About Goal-Setting in 2023?
“I want to run half a marathon.” - that’s a smart goal, right? Wrong. Unsurprisingly, January is the time when most goals are set, as many of us are motivated to become “our best self” for the coming year (whatever that means). In this blog, we’ll tell you why the opening statement is a terrible goal, and how you can go about setting a SMART one.
So, what is a SMART goal? Very simply, the word “SMART” is an abbreviation of the following:
Think you know what these all mean? Keep reading to find out!
Definition: make your goals narrow for more effective planning. The more specific your goal is, the more likely that you will know exactly what steps to take (and thus achieving your goal faster).
Example: “I will start training four times a week to run half a marathon.”
Definition: define what evidence will prove you're making progress. Statistically seeing your progress can help with motivation as well as ensuring that you are heading in the right direction.
Example: “I will use my smartwatch to track my training progress and mileage.”
Definition: ensure you can reasonably achieve your goal within a certain time. Knowing where you’re starting is crucial to setting a realistic yet attainable goal.
Example: “I am able to run 10km rather easily, so I have a decent fitness level.”
Definition: ensure your goal aligns with your values and long-term objectives. Setting a goal that does not align with what you believe in is bound to fail in the long-run. Conversely, a goal that aligns with your beliefs will be much easier to achieve and sustain.
Example: “I value health and fitness, so this goal aligns with my core values.”
Definition: set a realistic and ambitious deadline for prioritization and motivation. Having a deadline will prevent procrastination and provide a sense of urgency and importance to your goal.
Example: “The half-marathon is 6 months from now, so I’ll need to be ready by then.”
Taken together, you can see how we turned an abstract goal (but not really a goal) of “I want to run half a marathon” into a clearly defined, thoroughly thought-out, smart goal of:
“I want to run half a marathon - so, I will start training four times a week to run half a marathon. I will use my smartwatch to track my training progress and mileage. I am able to run 10km rather easily, so I have a decent fitness level. I value health and fitness, so this goal aligns with my core values. And the half-marathon is 6 months from now, so I’ll need to be ready by then.”
Hopefully by now you’ll have a better understanding of how to set a SMART goal yourself. If you don’t mind sharing, let us know in the comments what you want to achieve this year!